The Group 2 Tristarc Stakes is a Group 2 Thoroughbred race staged by the Melbourne Racing Club during the spring carnival. The race is restricted to mares aged four years and above. It is run at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne over 1400 metres under set weight plus penalty conditions.
Prizemoney has grown as the race has matured and as of 2020, the total stakes on offer for the race was $300,000.
History of the Tristarc Stakes
When you think of the big races run during spring in Victoria, you think of races that started in the 1800s. The Tristarc Stakes in about 100 years newer and was run for the first time in 1987.
It is named in honour of Tristarc. She was a mare foaled in New Zealand by the Irish stallion Sir Tristram out of new Zealand’s Renarc. She won five Group 1 races, the most significant of which was the 1985 Caulfield Cup. Another was the Group 1 AJC Derby the same year.
The Tristarc Stakes was originally run on the first day of the Melbourne Racing Club spring carnival. It was eventually moved to the third day of the carnival and now jumps at the same meeting as the Caulfield Cup.
Good horses line up for the race and many of those will be targeting Group 1 races later in the spring, wherever those races may be.
Tristarc Stakes Race Venue
The Tristarc Stakes has always been run at Caulfield. It is not unusual to see races moved to another track when repairs or renovations become desirable or necessary, such as the Caulfield Cup during World War II being moved to Flemington while the military used Caufield for purposes related to the war effort.
Caulfield Racecourse is among the most well known in Australia and serves as the headquarters for the Melbourne Racing Club.
Known to some as The Heath, racing has been conducted there in 1859. Those early days found the racing conducted on a course that ran through the bush and other obstacles that would never be tolerated today.
The race was known as the Tristarc Quality for the first year of 1987. It went by Tristarc Stakes from 1988 through 2008. For two years, it was called the Harrolds Stakes for sponsorship purposes and from 2011 forward, it was again the Tristarc Stakes.
The first race was run over 1200 metres, but since 1988 has been run as a middle distance sprint of 1400 metres.
The Tristarc Stakes was a Listed quality race from 1987 through 1993. It was run from 1994 through 2004 at Group 3 and made it to Group 2 status in 2005.
Racing History of the Tristarc Stakes
Canny Lass won the first race in 1987.
She was by Bletchingly out of Jesmond Lass. Bletchingly only raced five times. He won four of those and placed in the other and he was an important sire. He was Australian Champion Sire from 1979 through 1982 and before, he was Australian Champion Juvenile Sire in 1988. He was the sire of Kingston Town.
Canny Lass was a winner of nine races, with 10 placings. Her Group 1 wins were the William Reid Stakes the VATC Marlboro Cup (now the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes) and the Elders Mile (Toorak Handicap).
Whistling won in 1989 and the Tristarc Stakes was her best victory.
A mare with the appetizing name of Ice Cream Sundae won in 1990. She was a capable galloper with 12 wins and 6 placings from 29 starts. Aside from the Tristarc, her other major wins were the Group 2 AJC Emancipation Stakes and the STC Festival Handicap.
The 1993 winner, Mingling Glances, was something of a force in that year, winning the Group 1 BMW Stakes (now the Tancred Stakes). She was sent to Japan the following year.
1994 winner Procrastinate never got above winning at Group 3, but five of her six wins were Listed or better. If ever we come back as a Thoroughbred, Procrastinate would be our preferred name, since avoiding tasks is our strong suit.
Bionic Bess won the race in 1995, and then went on to place second in six major races the following year, including the 1996 Group 1 Coolmore Classic, beaten three lengths by Chlorophyll, despite having Glen Boss for her jockey.
Chlorophyll won the Tristarc Stakes the following year, which along with the Coolmore, were her main wins other than the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup the same year.
Camino Rose won in 1998, ran second in the Coolmore, and then won the Coolmore in 1995. Her career earnings exceeded $1 million.
Another million-dollar winner to win the Tristarc Stakes was Bonanova in 1999. She won the Group 1 Emirates Classic and was a two-time winner of the Group 3 Winter Stakes in Queensland. She earned a lot of her money by running second in four Group 1s, the Flight Stakes, the All-Aged Stakes, the Coolmore and the George Ryder Stakes.
Lady Marion from 2000 won nothing better than the Group 2 Marsh Classic in South Australia; in fact, she fetched nearly double her race earnings when she was sold for $840,000 at the Inglis Australian Broodmare sale.
2001 found Pernod winning. She hit her zenith in 2002 when she won the Group 1 MRC Dubai Racing Club Cup.
Reactive won in 2002. Her best win was the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate, but she managed to parlay 31 starts into seven wins and seven placings, bringing in well over $600,000.
Infinite Grace was the winner in 2003 and 2005. She was the only multiple winner of the Tristarc Stakes. She was more than capable and with a little racing luck, seconds and thirds in races such as the 2005 Emirates Stakes and the 2004 Toorak Handicap could have been wins.
In between Infinite Grace’s two wins was Our Egyptian Raine. Our Egyptian Raine’s win in 2004 by a nose was over - you guessed it - Infinite Grace.
Moving ahead, we find the 2008 winner Mimi Lebrock. She made 16 starts for five wins and six placings, winning a little above $1.1 million, much of which came from winning the Magic Millions 2 YO Classic. She also won the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes when it was still a Listed Race, a credential she shares with the greater More Joyous, which won the Tristarc Stakes in 2011. More on More Joyous further on.
Mimi Lebrock nearly equaled her prizemoney when she fetched $1.025 million at the Australian Easter Broodmare sale.
We must not get too far out in front of ourselves, though, because the 2009 Tristarc Stakes winner was one Typhoon Tracy.
Typhoon Tracy was the crème de la crème to this stage of the history of the Tristarc Stakes.
She won almost $2.5 million in 20 starts. She won her first five starts, taking the Group 1 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill in March of 2009. Following a third, a second and an eighth, she went on another five-win tear, winning a Group 2, followed by four consecutive Group 1 wins. Those were the Myer Classic (Empire Rose Stakes), another mares’ only race, The C F Orr Stakes, the Futurity Stakes and the Queen Of The Turf Stakes. She floundered a bit after those wins, but she concluded her racing career with a second C F Orr victory.
Now, we arrive at More Joyous, the 2011 winner.
More Joyous win almost $5 million and was the Australian Champion Middle Distance Racehorse for 2012. She did most of her winning as a four-year-old, winning eight of her 10 starts in the 2010 – 2011 racing season. So good was she during that season that she never ran in anything under Group 1 and Group 2, with the exception of the 2010 Sheraco Stakes. She won four Group 1 races that season. In her five-year-old season, she won four consecutive races, starting with the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes, and then on to Group 1 wins in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, the Doncaster Handicap and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Another big winner was Streama. She won the Tristarc Stakes in 2012 and won four Group 1 races and ran second or third in numerous major races. Like many of the other Tristarc Stakes winners, when there was a gender restricted race, Streama would often be found.
Continuing the pattern of good horses in the Tristarc Stakes, the 2013 winner was Red Tracer. She was a racer’s racer, making 38 starts for 15 wins and 14 placings. She earned over $2.3 million, with wins in the Group 1 Myer Classic, the Tattersall’s Tiara and the Dane Ripper Stakes in Queensland.
Sweet Idea, the 2014 winner, was by Snitzel, so it would be expected that she win, as Snitzel’s sire was the formidable Redoute’s Choice.
Sweet Idea won eight races from 19 starts and earned about $2.4 million. She won the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes, ran second in three Group 1 races and was third in the 2013 Golden Slipper Stakes.
2016 winner First Seal, by Fastnet Rock, earned $1.2 million from 20 starts for six wins and seven placings. Her best win was the Group 1 Flight Stakes in 2014. She had four seconds in Group 1 races.
First Seal is historical significant for beating Winx, twice, in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes and the Group 1 Flight Stakes. Winx had revenge winning the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes and the Group 1 Doncaster, where First Seal was barely on the first page of finishers.
When she won the Tristarc Stakes in 2016, she beat Tycoon Tara, so while First Seal is not a household name, she was more than handy.
Global Glamour was the 2017 winner. She won Group 1s when she took out the Flight Stakes and The Thousand Guineas. She made just 18 starts, but managed to win over $1.5 million.
Savatiano was the 2019 winner. She is still racing and to date has earned over $2.5 million. She has won three Group 2 races, came within a nose of beating Kolding for the 2021 All Aged Stakes. Her best win was the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes in March of 2021.
The most recent winner of the Tristarc Stakes was Madam Rouge. Her 2020 victory is probably her best win, with the exception of a 2020 win in the Magic Millions Sprint at Gold Coast, but she has been in the placings for other major races.
See Madam Rouge win the 2020 Tristarc Stakes.
The Tristarc Stakes is a mares’ race that has attracted good horses over its relatively brief existence. Many mares will take the race as a lead-up for spring carnival Group 1 races, so it is not odd that many of the winners have solid racing credentials, or that there has only been one multiple winner of the Tristarc Stakes.
|Year||Tristarc Stakes Winners|
|2004||Our Egyptian Raine|
|1990||Ice Cream Sundae|